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Ralph Bristol Out at Cumulus Media’s SuperTalk 99.7 WTN

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After an 11-year run as the host of  Nashville’s Morning News, broadcast giant Cumulus Media and Ralph Bristol have parted ways.

Bristol posted a lengthy statement on his Facebook page:

GOOD MORNING NASHVILLE, IT’S….OVER

Cumulus Media terminated my employment today due to irreconcilable editorial differences. We cannot agree on what information and communications should be kept private and which should be hashed out publicly. Since I won’t abide by their rules, they will not abide by my continued employment.

Please know first, I am not sad or angry. And I have nothing to fear, financially or otherwise. I’m free, happy and as blessed as ever.

As I leave the radio, I want to thank a bunch of people, including, but not first, those who fired me, and it’s probably best that I didn’t do this on the air because you’ve heard enough of this particular grown man cry, and I tend to get emotional when I say nice things about people.

I’d like to start by thanking my “Gang of Four,” Doogie Vance, Ken Weaver and Chris Weber, who along with me, have solved all of mankind’s important problems during a daily segment that started many years ago as a traffic segment, which pretty much describes most of mankind’s important problems.

My warmest hug is reserved for the sales department, and especially Laura Munsey, who single-handedly put at least 1 ½ of my granddaughters through college. All of you have been priceless in finding sponsors who could live up to my demanding specs, and sometimes I have been a pain in the ass about those specs. I hope the pain was worth it.

My dear friend, Michael DelGiorno, is responsible for more stories and for helping me learn how to tell a better story (which has and will continue to translate into happiness) than any human being in my life, and for that I will always cherish him. Michael and I know things about each other from the stories we told during our golfing days that Fusion GPS would pay dearly for if we were running for President. Some of those things are even true.

Despite my fondness for all of the above, the most important people in my professional life have always been my sponsors, the local businesses who paid me to give them my personal recommendation to my thousands of radio friends. In the most productive years of my life, half or more of my income was produced by the 60 second stories I told daily about the local businesses who convinced me they would provide good value to my audience, with a combination of price, service, quality, or all of the above, and above all – reliably live up to the promises I made on their behalf.

With rare exception, for nearly 22 years, scores of business have lived up to that standard and allowed me to say, without fear of contradiction that I believe everything I say, on all subjects, all the time.

To all Cumulus employees and management, thank you for being reliable and dedicated partners in our mutual journeys. There have been numerous occasions when I have felt happily compelled to inform our managers of your efforts I thought went beyond the ordinary.

And finally, a very big hug to my audience, my “stranger friends,” many of whom have become real friends, including one who has become my best friend. It was from my radio audience that I picked my wife, Marianna, in my first year as a talk show host, in Greenville, SC.

I also can’t forget the many elected officials who have accepted my invitations over the years to visit with me, on the air, about a plethora of local, state, national and international issues. I would be short-changing them if I did not give them credit for some of my most substantive civic accomplishments by giving me a seat at the debate table, especially on major state tax issues.

And, while I have irreconcilable differences with them today, I want to thank Cumulus Nashville for providing me this rare opportunity for the past 11 years. These years have been responsible for more of my happiness, confidence and security than all of the 57 years prior, and I would not have any of that were it not for company that fired me today.

I have no hard feelings whatsoever.

I will soon tell a more complete story of the reason for our irreconcilable differences, but for now, the most important things to assure everyone there is no crisis, no pain, no anger and no sadness that needs attending.

I might, however, throw a party….stay tuned.

 

Ralph Bristol has enjoyed a broadcasting career spanning nearly four decades. He joined WTN in 2007 as the host of Nashville’s Morning News, and for more than 10 years, claimed the top-rated morning drive political talk show in Tennessee’s largest radio market.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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39 thoughts on “Ralph Bristol Out at Cumulus Media’s SuperTalk 99.7 WTN

  1. dave yale

    Sorry to see Ralph go. Michael Di – too much religion and impersonations – all very boring. As for Mandis – repetitious and obsequious. The dialog with Pamela usually degenerates into innuendo and bodily functions. Not funny. Almost, but not quite, forces me to listen to NPR.

  2. Lebanon guy

    Oh my goodness. I just heard about this. I knew Ralph was gone but just thought he was taking an extended break or something. I heard one of his commercials the other day and just thought he was still around. I have not heard the new guy enough to like him or not. But that Furr lady is awful. She is always trying to make a male look inferior to a female. Could be part of the reason she is on with Dan, I don’t know, but a lot of men take offense to this. Well at least I do.

  3. Working Man

    This is Sad! This guy was in touch with what matters to really hard working tax payers. I loved his stories, because they were real life experiences through his eyes and voice. It’s amazing to me the larger a company becomes the less in touch they become with what made them successful. It’s great dedication by committed people in you product. When you lose sight of that , the slide becomes very slippery. As for the Plant guy you put in Ralph’s time slot. He sounds like Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story.

  4. Jeff

    Losing Ralph is a loss of a long time morning listener…

  5. Mark

    Should have dumped Michael Delgiorno for not being prepared for talk radio.
    I don’t want to hear about his pet lizard or way too much sports talk.
    Dan is fine. Phil Valentine is terrific.
    Want news review not junk banter.

    1. Patrick Flanagan

      I wil miss Ralph greatly. Delgirno is the most annoying person on that station. His voice erks me. The only host of any radio talk show host that erks me more is Glen Beck (WLAC 1510 Am) Unfortunately they are on during the same time period so I usually find some music to listen to until Rush comes on at 11:00 a.m. I do enjoy the topics and the conversations between Dan and Pamela. Phil Valentine is my absolute favorite.Second only to Michael Savage. Mark Levine is fine also.

    2. steve

      Yes! Michael should be gone. He is worthless.

  6. Trebor Henn

    Sad. Ralph was about the only reason I tuned back into 99.7. I gave up on this station back when that idiot G. Gordon Liddy was on the air.

  7. Allen Good

    I had no idea that so many people shared my sentiments about the starting lineup at WTN. More changes need to be made. The lineup is frankly an embarrassment for Nashville.

    1. MrMe

      I didnt like Ralph because he tried to elevate himself as some kind of power broker yelled at conservative callers who pointed out errors in his logic and cut the an hour of commercial breaks because he had a tempter tantrum, I know I caused one of them. He also insisted on staying on local issues and staying away from the national narrative.

      But Delgirno is worse than Ralph he never discusses the issues he gives long winded speeches on god and faith, actually dedicates his show to bible study. And when hes not doing that hes doing impressions of obscure, dead baseball personalities. His inane rambling can go on for the entire show without anything pertinent being said until the closing minutes. Very unprofessional.

  8. Michael Peterson

    I sure wish they would give the medical hints a break. How many times will they play that stretching your muscles is good for them. It’s nice hearing once but two or three times a morning?Ralph isn’t perfect but at least folks from Nashville aren’t paying for his “special time” like they are for a certain Mayor. Brian can’t help it he is Ralph’s replacement, he is just doing his job and his style will develop over time just like Ralph’s probably did.I wish WTN would drop the delayed syndicated shows and either play them without being on delay or just don’t. They should also set up a good seven day format like KFI640 in Los Angeles for example. I do think all the hosts here in Nashville talk to much and talk to listeners to little. I understand why especially now with everyone using cell phones but often the shows sound like reading a very long editorial page. I wish Ralph well and I hope at some point Cumulus moves Brian to a different time slot and brings Ralph back. But I also hope people won’t give the other hosts a bad time just because they don’t happen to be your favorite. Even if you do somehow it doesn’t feel right readingthe comments of people who wish Ralph well and at the same time in the same post they desecrate his talk host friends. That doesn’t contribute to anyone’s happiness.

  9. Rick Owens

    I’ve been a loyal listener to WTN for many years and have learned a lot from Ralph, Phil and Michael. I always found Ralph to be a man of reason and logic who studied the issues and listened to both sides. I even watched his speech as Seargant Bristol. He was a paasionate conservative voice and I miss hearing him. His replacement, Brian Wilson, is a poor substitute. In the spirit of providing listener feedback to improve the station: Dan Mandiss – wears me out with his constant asides and taking forever to make a point. I usually turn off the radio because I can’t stand listening to the drivel any longer. Michael DelGiorno – bright and engaging and well-reasoned, a conservative voice with a personality who loves his sports. Phil Valentine – a common-sense conservative with a great sense of humor who knows how to present an issue logically and supports his opinion with facts and reason. He is very entertaining and informative. I’ll keep listening to WTN in the afternoon because of Phil Valentine but you have lost a drive-time listener of many years with your poorly-considered decision to oust Ralph Bristol.

  10. Henry

    SuperTalk radio? With the exception of Phil Valentine, there is no more there there. You could tell that Ralph took the job seriously and studied the topics that he though would be of interest to his audience. Yes, we sometimes disagreed with him, but that did not detract from the fact that he made us think. The new show is nothing but a host throwing out a news topic and asking callers to comment. Not too much to think about there. Cumulus and for that matter, St, Thomas Hospital, waste our time with obvious “health hints” such as dress in layers/drink water/watch your food portions, etc, etc, etc. So sad to trade four interesting hours for one boring minute. Ralph, we wish you the best and hope you find a way to keep on our radar!

  11. Mary

    I liked him. Too bad. Get rid of DelGiorno and Mandis. Mandis is awful. It takes him five minutes to say something that should take one sentence. And the repetition is awful.

    1. ID Vague

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who notices this. I’d love to get paid to transcribe his program. If I only got paid for commas and parentheses, I could retire in 6 weeks.

  12. Former Nashvillian

    It’s jarring to hear the commercials with Ralph’s voice that WTN is still running for clients.

    1. Eric

      If they are still using his voice, he should sue the pants off them!

  13. SpringHillListener

    My wife and me listened every weekday morning to 99.7 because of Ralph’s show. Bye Bye 99.7.

  14. Clinton Lee

    I stopped listening long ago, tired of hearing Michael praise God one minute, and vulgarity the next, and Dan Mandis ignorant topics, and flirtyness with dirty minded Pamela Fur!! Then to here the constant ED commercials, and Phil rides the fence a little on some issues, and I got tired of hearing all the garbage.

  15. Ken Thompson

    It’s been great having Ralph as the host of the morning show. I have listened to him ever since the was introduced. His unbiased and straight forward way of presenting the current events was right on. Sure, people will not always agree with everything he represented, but for myself I did agree with the majority of his points and at least you knew where he stood. He was a good watchdog and kept us posted on controversial issues. I hope to here his voice again…another time, another place. I want to say it has been great listening and wish him well in whatever endeavors he pursues. Good Luck Ralph. Hope to here from you again. By the way, I have cut off 99.7 listening except for Phil Valentine in the afternoon.

  16. Teresa

    I was wondering what happened to Ralph. Sorry to hear he will no longer a part of my morning commute. If he was fired over that Sonjay Gupta comment, that would be stupid . Ralph only said what the audience was thinking. Come on Cumulus, are you even listening to what the doctor is saying? Wasn’t it today’s topic what gay men have in common? I liked that segment as much as your continuous ED commercials. Geez guess I’ll be shopping for a new station to listen to.

  17. William

    I knew this would happen I listen everyday coming home from Nissan in Smyrna. Sonjay Gupka comes on every morning and everyone knows hes a CNN political stooge. So Im guessing Ralph like the rest of us got tired of the elephant in the room and blew the cover about how Cumulus Media is just an arm of the CNN company hence the reason a liberal medical correspondent would be on a conservative talk show everyday. The fact is Cumulus is a liberal company profiting off of a conservative talk show which should piss everyone off.

  18. Dacid

    We need Ralph back to get the local news he is our watch dog. After listening to the new guy this he is ok but I hear about washing all day.

  19. Ron

    Ralph was fired because he took a stand against the fake media dr I will b starting a boycott on cumulus radio Ralph is right but his management was on the left wut a shame u will b missed Ralph plz put commercials out when ur podcast is fully up n running what a failure and loss for cumulus

  20. John

    Ralph was fired for his speech about the fake ass dr on his show during commercials who is a homo leftty that should not have any real place in the world let alone have an audience on the radio f. 99.7 n f the boss that made the decision over money and a contract with the fake ass dr live free or die Ralph I’m going to start a campaign and a boycott of 99.7 again f 99.7 yal really f ed up n I will bet u will c it in your audience ratings can some1 give me the name of the pencil neck who chose 2 minz of a bs jackass over a radio host that held dedicated listener’s f 99.7 you stupid idiots the station and its audience only likes real conservative people not even a min of the looser dr

    1. Colleen

      What intelligence. Your point is lost in the vulgarity of your speech.

  21. Lyn

    So much for ‘freedom of speech’ in America. I so enjoyed listening to Ralph in the morning, then 99.7 is turned off until it’s time for Phil at 3.00 pm.

    My enjoyment for Michael D. faded long ago as he clearly enjoys hearing the sound of his own voice far more than speaking to callers. Some listeners may find his ‘impressions’ and voices amusing but so little of Michael goes a long long way.

    Same with Dan Mandis – the drivel between Dan and Pamela Furr each and every single day is simply not tolerable ……… and now, he fired Ralph Bristol for not covering up the truth!

    99.7 is now history for me – a very loyal listener for a long long time.

  22. Willie

    It’s a sad day for conservative talk radio. While I had my disagreements with Mr. Bristol, I always found him to be fair. He was one of the very few gentlemen who would publicly apologize to listeners and callers when he felt he had treated them unjustly. While his support for the gas tax was disappointing, his reasoning for support was understandable. We can agree to disagree without resorting to name calling and degrading slurs.

    All that being said, I wish Mr. Bristol all the best in his future endeavors, and all the blessings he can physically and spiritually stand. Thank you for all your candid, wet cheeked stories. I will miss you!

  23. Bill

    I think they call that a business decision. When two sides can’t agree they either compromise or seperate. Apparently neither side would compromise. I am thinking I will still be going to work regardless of the banter I hear on the radio. I will give the next fellow a chance…..unless his name is Michael. I have already given him too many chances and he never fails to disappoint.

  24. Kalee

    Good riddance to Ralph. We stopped listening to WTN when Ralph supported the TN gas tax and was a pompous ass about it with his listeners. So much for “you talk, we listen”. WTN lost their edge when Ralph went with the RINOS and Dems on taxes and other issues. What did you think would happen when a so-called conservative on a conservative talk radio station promotes the liberal agenda? And DelGiorno has become unbearable to listen to. If we wanted to hear about sports and other goofy crap, we’d listen other stations. We need reliable information and action alerts – especially when the TN legislature is in session. Sometimes, if you listen long enough, you’ll get a crumb of information – maybe an interview with a legislator – but not enough of the time. If not for Phil Valentine, WTN would be sunk and we’d never listen at all.

  25. Rev. Robbins

    I was a afraid this was in the works when he wasn’t on the air this week. My fear is that at Ralph’s age and success, he may not want to do another big time gig.

    I lived in Greenville, SC when Ralph was on the air there. I remember when his present wife was just a favorite caller on the show. Then I moved to Nashville, and low and behold just a couple of months later Ralph followed me. For 8 more years, he was that voice of reason in a cacophony of chatter.

    When I departed for Knoxville in 2014, I tried to find local shows that were as good as Ralph, and found there wasn’t. So I placed I Heart Radio on my phone and have listened to him every morning for the last 3 years.

    This is an absolute shame and frankly an injustice to a man that though I didn’t always agree with him, was a pleasure to listen to and consider a voice in my life. I’m saddened by this… and now I don’t have a true libertarian conservative to listen to anymore. It’s very sad

  26. lb

    Ralph was a must listen when we first moved here . Lately he has become unlistenable. His support for the gas tax increase was to insult those who came on or called in with opposition. He has become someone different from the person I began listening to 10 years ago so I stopped tuning in.
    I agree, Michael G’s first hour is a joke (and he isnt even funny) and annoying but the rest of his show is OK. Pamela Furr is annoying, just that simple. Dan is OK but in a bland voice sort of way. Thank goodness for Phil Valentine!

    1. Ted

      Lol I agree with all of that…Ralphs wife drove me to drink.

  27. Toni

    Ralph was overbearing and an ignoramus. He lost me with his smug overbearance on the TN gas tax increase. He spoke in favor before the legislature. He was rude to anyone who disagreed with him. I stopped listening to him.

  28. Stuart I. Anderson

    It’s really sad how WTN has gone downhill recently. It is apparent that for some reason the local hosts have been forced to dumb down the programming with annoying banter which apparently appeals to someone, somewhere, with some poor guy being assigned to incessantly laugh hour after hour (how would you like that job?) at things which, I’m afraid, are simply not at all funny. This is apparently the price that must be paid in order to squeeze in some substantive discussion every once in a while. As a result I simply no longer listen anywhere near as much as I used to.

  29. Kathy

    What a mistake! I feel pretty certain that it’s due to the quack so called doctor doing commentary during the morning show. …..can’t believe that they have caved to the liberal bs! Bring Ralph back!

  30. Eric

    I hope both outlets crash and burn.

  31. 83ragtop50

    I guess telling the unvarnished truth is no longer possible with Cumulus. Going the way of the Tennessean?

    Gosh, now who besides the Tennessee Star can I turn to for a conservative voice especially on local and state topics? Surely not Michael DelGiorno who wastes the first hour of his program with unimportant drivel. I just turn him off when he starts. Dan Mandis is a nice guy – I guess – but his overbearing trivial dialogues with Pamel Furr (the news lady) are enough to make one puke. I hope Ralph lands a job with another local station.

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